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  Social Networking Resources > Getting Started Guide > Lesson # 2 How To Choose The Right Social Networking Sites

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How To Choose The Right Social Networking Sites

With more than 200 main stream social networking sites, and that’s not including all the forums, chat rooms and blogs, it can be difficult to decide which site is the right site to invest your time and energy in. Let’s take a look at a few criteria to consider.

Popularity

Often it makes sense to network on a site which has a large number of participants. Not only will you be able to reach more people, you can be sure the social networking site will be around for the next couple of years.

Some of the most popular social networking sites include:

  • MySpace.com
  • FaceBook.com
  • LinkedIn.com
  • Friendster.com
  • Digg.com
  • Pulse
  • Twitter
  • Stumbleupon.com
  • del.icio.us
  • Xanga.com

User Statistics

In addition to how popular a site is, you will want to look for a site(s) that appeal to your target audience. For example if your target audience is female business owners between the ages of 30 and 45 then MySpace probably isn’t the right site for you as the MySpace audience is primarily 18-29 year olds and musicians. However Twittermoms might be the ideal place to network and create a profile.

To find this relevant data, most social networking sites list their user data on their site. This information can often be found on their “About” page or on their “Press” page. You can also search online to find social networking ranking information which may also list user demographics. If all else fails, visit the site and browse around to see what type of user it appeals to.

Features

Some social networking sites are easy to use and offer an abundance of features. Others do not. When deciding which sites are right for you, make a list of what you want to accomplish with social networking and then compare sites based on that information. For example, if your goal is to boost your blog traffic, Twitter enables you to link to a blog post (yours or someone else’s) in a post, however Facebook recently added an application where you can link your blog to Facebook thus expanding awareness.

Your Profile Options

Each site offers users to build a profile. This is an important consideration. Take a look at profile options as they relate to your social networking goals. Twitter offers templates which can be customized or you can hire someone to create a profile page for you. Facebook on the other hand is much more straightforward with little customization available, however as shown in the image below, they also provide a specific option for businesses, bands, and celebrities who want to create a profile.
 


Your profile page which will be the centerpiece of your social networking strategy and will tell users what you’re about. Make sure you’re able to communicate all you need to communicate before committing too much time to any particular social networking site.

Before you begin comparing social networking sites, spend a few minutes creating a plan.

Write down:

  • Who your target audience is
  • What your social networking goals are
  • What image you want to convey
  • What options you need to achieve your goals and create your ideal profile

Now you can begin to compare social networking sites to find the one which is right for you. In the next couple of lessons we’ll take a look at two of the most popular social networking sites, Twitter and Facebook.

 === > Lesson #3  Tips, Secrets and Strategies for Using Facebook

 

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